The Land of Happiness Bhutan
The Kingdom of Bhutan lies in the eastern Himalayas between India and China and is one of the few countries that have been independent throughout its history. Bhutan is unique, rich in tradition and beautiful architecture, filled with very friendly, helpful and charming people. Beautiful mountains surround the country to the north dropping to lowland hills along her southern border. The country is populated with approximately 700,000 people with Mahayana Buddhism as the principal was of life for this ancient culture.
The national flag is divided diagonally into two equal halves with yellow in the upper hoist and orange in the lower fly. The dragon is set diagonally at the center of the flag. The yellow represents the King, the white represents the purity and loyalty and while orange represents the Buddhism.
Druk tsendhen is the national anthem of Bhutan, which was adopted in 1953. It is sung every morning in all schools across the Kingdom.
The national emblem of Bhutan is a circle that projects a double diamond thunderbolt placed above a lotus. There is a jewel on all sides with two dragons on the vertical sides. The thunderbolt represents the harmony between secular and religious power while the lotus symbolizes purity. The jewel represents the sovereign power and the dragon on the two sides (male and female) represents the name of the country Druk Yul or the land of Thunder Dragons.
Although there are over 18 languages in Bhutan that belong to the Tibeto-Burman group and Lhosamkha (Nepali) – Indo-Aryan group,
Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. The word Dzongkha means the language (kha) spoken in the Dzong. Dzongs are the fortresses established throughout the Kingdom in the 17th century.
The national dress or costume of Bhutan is the Gho for men and Kira for women. The gho is a long robe hoisted up until knee length and the hoisted cloth is held in place with a woven belt called kera around the waist. The kira is an ankle length dress that is wrapped and folded around the body and pinned at both shoulders with silver brooches and bound at the waist with a colorful woven belt.
These costumes represent an everyday symbol of Bhutan’s national culture.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and is played during religious, secular public holidays and local festivals in Bhutan.
The national animal is the Takin. It is very rare mammal with a thick neck and short muscular legs. They can be found above 4000 meters across the Kingdom. We can find a few of the Takin in the “Thimphu Zoo” located at Sangaygang, popularly known as BBS tower.
The national bird is the raven and it adorns the Royal Crown. The raven symbolizes the most powerful deities of the country. The royal Raven Crown represents Bhutan’s respect for these birds and the faith of Bhutanese in their protective deities.
The Himalayan Cypress is the national tree of Bhutan and can be found in the temperate zone between altitudes of 1800 and 3500 meters. This cypress is associated with religion and can often be found near ancient religious worship houses and monasteries.
Blue poppy is the national flower. It is a delicate blue or purple-tinged blossom with a white filament. It grows to a height of 1 meter and is found above the tree line (3500-4500 meters) on rocky mountain terrain.